Traditions can be good and wise in defending truths that matter. They can be bad in substituting themselves for the truths they were first designed to protect. They can be out-right ugly when they contradict, bury or poison the truth they allegedly rest upon. God in Jesus deliberately insults our traditions to learn what is in our hearts – it is a wise test of whether our traditions serve what is true or not.
Matthew 15.1-28 | Who is clean?
Tradition – the good, bad and ugly
Jesus insults everyone
Pharisees and teachers – hypocrites (1-8)
– traditions & idolatry
The crowds – perplexed (10-14)
– The plants of God
The disciples – dull (15-20)
– Not what goes in but what comes out
The Canaanite – a dog (21-28)
For further thought
Q: What is good and not so good about traditions?
Q: What are some of the spoken and unspoken traditions in your family and place of work?
Q: Jesus insults everyone in this passage in order to expose their hearts – what comes out of the Pharisees, crowds, disciples and the Canaanite woman?
Q: The quote from Isaiah 29:13 refers to the idolatry and injustice committed in Isaiah’s day.
Q: How can Jesus say that Isaiah spoke about the Pharisees who lived 700 years later?
Q: Traditions can become like laws that ruin the good they were first designed to protect. What are the spoken and unspoken traditions in your church?
Q: Where do they help and where do they hinder our love of God’s word?